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Twitter/X To Start Collecting User Biometric and Employment Data

Photo and video professionals who still use the company formerly known as Twitter to promote their projects should beware.

X has enacted new data collection and “security” terms to its privacy policy that expand the quantity and nature of the data the company collects from users.

As noticed by Bloomberg, X/Twitter has updated its privacy policy to include clauses for a fairly heavy collection of user biometric information and employment history data for the sake of “safety, security and identification.”

The most relevant section specifically states, “Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes,”

The policy clause is for now fortunately optional for users and Twitter hasn’t clarified exactly what sorts of biometrics it might seek.

They could however include the obvious like facial biometrics from user selfies, but they might also revolve around acquiring iris patterns or even fingerprints.

Some of the above biometric data points could possibly be used by X Corp (as it’s now called under Elon Musk’s ownership) to enable passwordless sign-ins through phones and other devices.

As one app developer, Steve Moser, noted, X is indeed planning on building a support infrastructure for passkeys, which could be joined to a user’s biometric data through their phone or, more prosaically, to a PIN number.

To make things slightly more disconcerting, X/Twitter’s privacy policy updates also include a provision for collecting your employment history.

X states that it may collect and store, “your employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement.”

These collection requests will presumably also be voluntary, at least for now. It’s also worth noting that they’re possibly being implemented for the sake of a suspected job search platform that Elon Musk has visibly played at adding to X.

For example, the platform recently introduced a hiring feature for companies, though this is still in its beta phase. Audio and video calls will also be added without the need to have a phone number.

Both of these features and the possible job platform could be justifications for X’s heavy ID and employment history requests in its Privacy Policy.

Another possible reason for the pending rollout of the biometric collection could be X/Twitter’s recent problems with blue tick fraud. The company introduced this feature earlier in 2023 for a monthly $8 fee or an annual $84 option to give paying accounts status as more trustworthy premium members.

About x premium.

However the only ID requirement is a fairly simple phone number verification and as expected, cybercriminals quickly started taking advantage of the feature for phishing and impersonation scams.

If X is introducing optional biometric data collection for the sake of avoiding fraud, the request may not remain optional for long.

The new Privacy Policy hasn’t gone into effect yet. A notice from the X website has claimed that it will go live as of September 29, 2023.

If you’re a photographer, videographer, or artist who has an X account, the upcoming “privacy” clauses above are worth keeping in mind if you value your genuine privacy.

They’re going to be optional for now, apparently, but who knows what happens later.

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